A SUPERMARKET worker who started off on a six-week temporary stint is celebrating 40 years at the same store – and says she has no intention of retiring.

Joan Ferry, 75, began working at Asda in South Woodham Ferrers in the run-up to Christmas four decades ago.

She is now the longest-serving member of the team and has been there almost since it opened its doors in the town in 1978.

Joan, who lives just a ten-minute walk away, has been married to husband Dave for 51 years.

They have two daughters, Louisa and Maria – and Louisa followed in her mum’s footsteps when she was in her teens by working in the store.

Joan said: “The store opened in the September and I came in temporarily for Christmas.

“Then they gave me a call in March and asked if I fancied a job on the checkouts – and I’ve been here ever since.

“I had only been here for two or three months when I came down to the cash office – and now my seat has got quite a nice dent in it from where I’ve been sitting over the years.

“I do enjoy coming to work – I don’t want to be home all the time.”

Joan says one of the most memorable days of her four decades at the store was when the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh called on a visit to the town in 1981.

She said: “It was such a big talking point in the town when the Queen and Duke called in.

“I remember the weather wasn’t particularly nice, but it stopped raining before they arrived, and she wore pink.

“Lots of schoolchildren were lining the streets to see them – it was a great day and a proud moment for everyone in the town.”

Brother-in-law Peter works as a security guard at the store.

He said: “I moved to Woodham 38 years ago and Joan was working here then.

“When I was made redundant, she said ‘We’ve got jobs here’ so I applied, and I’ve been here for ten years now.

“It was supposed to be a temporary job.

“It’s funny to be working alongside Joan. Although we’re in different parts of the store I bump into her most days, which is lovely.

“People will tell you there’s a family feel here – and with my sister-in-law here we’re the proof that that’s true.”

Store manager Neil Roots says everyone at the store is proud of Joan.

He said: “Forty years of service is a real achievement.”